Google giveth and taketh away when it comes to YouTube Music’s free tier


YouTube Music

As Wear OS 2 smartwatch users finally have access to the YouTube Music app, Google plans to make some changes to its music streaming product on November 3rd. The free tier is both the beneficiary and victim of the proposed changes which adds background listening but also removes the ability for free users to view music videos.

As you might guess, if you subscribe to the Premium tier you have nothing to worry about. If, on the other hand, you are content to continue using the free tier then you will be restricted to strictly listening to your favorite music instead of watching the corresponding videos. That’s right, you’ll no longer be able to watch Lady Gaga strut her stuff is wearing in her latest music video. You’ll need to subscribe to YouTube Music Premium if you want to continue viewing music videos on the service.

If you aren’t sure what the differences between the paid and free tiers are, YouTube Music’s support page lists the following:

Those who listen to music free with ads will now be able to

  • Listen to music in the background 
  • Shuffle play personalized mixes (that are made just for you!)
  • Find the perfect mood mixes for activities like a workout, commute, and more
  • Explore millions of songs & thousands of playlists, free of cost

Those who pay for a YouTube Premium subscription will be able to enjoy additional exclusive benefits, like the ability to

  • Listen to songs on-demand 
  • Watch videos on YouTube Music
  • Skip tracks an unlimited number of times
  • Enjoy YouTube Music without ads

The changes will take effect initially in Canada from November 3rd with other locales following suit.


He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a OnePlus Nord 2 5G in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S6 in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).




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